Friday, March 30, 2007

My new bag

I just got my new messenger bag. It's very exciting. It was a Christmas gift (thanks, mom) and the brand a recommendation from my brother. It's from Chrome. After 2 years of carrying around my laptop and a only little bit extra in a 10 euro backpack from the Schnäppchen-Markt at Karstadt Sport, it was high time for something bigger and better. And it IS big.

And it's brown, so it matches my bike.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Funny Work E-mails, Part 2

I just could not wait to post this one. This still cracks me up. Scientists gettin rowdy.

---------------------------- Original Message
Subject: parties
From: "xxxx xxxx"
Date: Tue, March 22, 2005 2:28 pm
To: "MPI staff"

dear all,
parties are great and in particular our parties at
MPI-CBG are really fantastic.
However you should remember that alcohol too much
gives work for our cleaning ladies. Our toilets were
in an awful shape after the last party. Please
remember this next time.
Moreover the use of tissue culture bottles for private
purposes, in this case filling Sangria in this
bottles is not a good manner. Please bring the
bottles back and do this not again.


Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and
xxxx xxxx
Pfotenhauerstr. 108,
01307 Dresden

Funny Work E-mails, Part 1

Hello Everybody,

against popular believe in this lab, deletion screen plates don't send off strange smelling fumes. In fact they smell like regular worm plates and certainly not like dead cat.

The smell seems to be coming from the hyperactive vacuum pump sitting under my bench and Gegenbau is going to take care of it.

So, don't panic.

This was funny enough to me, but I imagine it is pretty strange to people outside of the lab or science. I'm tempted to go back through my old emails for more little gems now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sometimes the light the RIGHT enjoy the High Life....

These are some of the best commercials I have ever seen. I remembered "Scurvy" and "Deviled Egg" from when they aired on TV. But I had no idea there were so many! And so many are so good.
And didn't know these were by Errol Morris. I really like the camera angles and depth of field tricks, and of course the guy's voice is priceless. They are soothing and funny and stereotypically masculine all at the same time.
Also particularly good are: (and I'm only halfway though)
Broken Window strikes a chord living in Europe now :)
Boat Yea
h, I have an SUV, and my pops taught me how to tow things.
Can't say I'm there yet...but as a Texan....I understand
yes yes yes. This last one reminds me of a embarrassing and funny story. My first year in graduate school I was set up on a date with a nice young woman. I think it was the second date, and it involved going back to her house, getting a bite, and watching a video. She had a fireplace, and I suggested we make a fire, it'd be fun, and I could show off my masculine prowess at building and lighting a fire from scratch. Long story short - or rather short story shorter - I spend 15 minutes being a man building this "fire" and unsuccessfully getting it to light. repeatedly. But I wasn't going to give up. I mean, c'mon. But then her (female) roommate comes in, asks if she can help, and in about 20 seconds has the logs and kindling rearranged and then lit. beautifully. I don't remember exactly, but there may have even been some sort of light arguing on how to build a fire just prior to that. Anyway, that was the last date this girl decided she wanted to see me....:)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Following the Elbe

I was looking back at some pictures from when my friend Julie visited over New Year's and found these two from the train back from Prague. I didn't notice before but they look interesting juxtaposed with similar colors of the blue, red, tans.....

(taken with my phone - not too shabby, eh?)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sachsens Kneipen bald rauchfrei

I don't believe it. No way. This can't be true. No more smoking in bars in Saxony? I mean, Germany has been about the last civilized country holding out on this, and I thought it would never happen. As it is all bars AND restaurants are all-smoking, all the time. I think the smoking sections in restaurants in Texas went away in the 80s. But even with these changes, restaurants will still be allowed to have smoking sections here.

But wow, this is great news. I think I get headaches from the quantities of smoke inhaled at
bars here. And who would have thought in the 21st century you would still be sitting enjoying an elegant meal at a nice restaurant and the guy behind you lights up a nice long smoke, ruining your meal completely? And with nowhere in the restaurant to find shelter.

I have to say, though, alot of my friends won't be so pleased.

And I do have to wonder what of Hebeda's, the bar down the street, who's ambiance is largely based on the smoky/cozy/dive-bar feel. but it's also my favorite bar in Dresden, even with the horrible smoke. I hope it just gets even better, and doesn't fade away.
Luckily, in any case, I've already taken a few pictures for prosperity:

Taken with 35mm SLR

Carsten in the back room - Taken with my digital Canon S40

Taken with my cell phone

Hebedas has a kind of DDR feel to it, which is quaint. And the beer is cheap. 1 euro 80 I believe for a half-liter Beck's. And there's usually good music. And it's about 30 seconds from my flat. I sure hope the vibe stays.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


A few weeks ago I was visiting Amy in Brighton for her birthday as well as the premiere of her film Only Stopping. Anyway, I came across this magazine in her room, Found. It was an actual nice thick print magazine, but I see now they have a website too. And they're based in Ann Arbor, which makes them especially cool. They basically just publish things people submit that they found somewhere, like little notes and letters. This stuff is gold. I think we've all found something like this at some point where you just have to ask "Where the hell did this come from, and what possibly could this person be thinking/doing when they wrote it?"
Of course it would seem the whole thing lends itself to easy hoaxes, but it seems like most if not all of the stuff is legit. I think I may have to order a few $5 + $5 international shipping, not so bad.

George Bush, Jet Pilot.

Oh my. Don Surber explains why the whole "Gonzales mess" and attorney firings is really a non-issue. okay. But the best part is at the end:

We elected President Bush to be the chief executive of this government. He should be able to fire anyone.

Unfortunately, we have Civil Service, which protects most federal employees from being fired. This makes it difficult to have the government serve the people.

Bush is a jet pilot. He is taking on people who would ban the bow-and-arrow if they could. This should be a fun battle to watch.

via The Poor Man Institute and Instapundit. Emphasis mine.

Oh, Bush is a jet pilot? If Bush is a jet pilot, I'm a Formula-One racer. I mean, 25 years ago I was training in race cars at Malibu, and later I rode co-pilot with my father at an amateur auto race. Bush's father was a fighter pilot. Bush Jr. went AWOL after getting tired of photo-ops in a national guard cockpit, then rode piggy-back onto an aircraft carrier doing circles off the coast of California.

But the real point here is that this guy actually seems to think, or thinks he can convince people, that Bush is some bad-ass hard man "jet-pilot" going up against a buncha flower-waving peace-niks. Does he really believe what he writes? if so, he probably REALLY enjoyed Bush's landing on the aircraft carrier. Was probably whoopin' it up at the TV.

He is right, though. This will be a fun "battle" to watch.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Today the pharmacist switched to English after I had only said "Hallo." Is my accent that bad? Well, her English wasn't the best either, but it was cute at the end when she asked me "Do you have another wish?". Which is quite normal in German to mean "anything else?" ("noch ein Wunsch?") but in English is something you only really hear said by fairies or genies. Or maybe a 19th century butler.
But usually I like going to the pharmacy because I actually complete all my transactions with the salesgirls there in German and feel good about myself.

Update: A quick google search reveals I'm not alone with this

Sunday, March 18, 2007

First Post

Well here I go. I'll start off with a picture. This is a composite of 25 photos I took from the Albertbrücke in Dresden looking toward the Altstadt. These were taken from the exact same place in the bridge on different days with my cell phone, a Sony Ericsson K800i (3.2 megapixel camera). (click to enlarge)

This is the view on the way to work, about 3 minutes after I leave my flat by bike.
The quality of the little camera on this phone is quite nice, good enough to be useful, especially in those spontaneous situations. Although there is definitely a noticeable difference from my digicam set on 3 megapixels.